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April 14, 2021
What Women Can Do to Lower the Effects of Zoom Fatigue

If you've been thinking that you're more exhausted after a day of work in a virtual environment, than getting in your car and driving for anywhere from half an hour to hours plus sitting in traffic, you may be right.   Zoom fatigue is a real thing, and you ladies are especially susceptible because you are constantly judging your image on camera.  In this episode, Dr. Kirk…


 

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Transcript

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Inspiring Gen X women to demonstrate their love of self by engaging in audacious acts of self-love. This is the Momma's Motivational Messages podcast with Dr. Peggie Kirkland.

Hi, everyone. So here's the thing. I mentioned earlier that I'm embracing my purpose, what I feel I've been put on this earth to do, or at least part of it. And that is to encourage women of all ages. But, I want to give some love, particularly to my Gen X women; you know, they actually call you the "forgotten generation." But I want you to know that PK, that's what my daughter calls me when she's trying to be cute. PK has not forgotten you. So, if you 40 plus, my love is coming at you. So please don't reject it. Hopefully, I can inspire you to take care of yourselves, while yo're raising your kids, or sending them off to college, while you're buying your first home, or your second home making your way to the top of that professional ladder, or planning your exit strategy. Whatever your life event is, it is so important that you take care of your emotional, physical, spiritual and psychological health. So here goes. Ladies, have you been questioning yourself about feeling more physically and psychologically exhausted after day of work in the virtual environment than when you were going into the office? Well guess what, your feelings might be right? I mean, you would think that since you don't have to get on public transportation, or stay in your car for hours, in backed up traffic that has you feeling like you put in a full day's work even before you get to the job. And then, at the end of the day, reverse reverse, like the song says, doing the same thing again. Well, guess what? You may actually be right about those feelings, because a recent study from Stanford University says that Zoom fatigue is actually real. And this study is said to be the first of its kind to analyze Zoom fatigue from a psychological perspective. And it concludes that Zoom fatigue is a real thing. But more than that, women are especially vulnerable. I'll tell you why in a bit. The thing is that since so many of you have been working from home, you've had longer and longer periods of interacting with a variety of video conferencing platforms. I've heard about people being on zoom for up to nine hours. That's unimaginable to m; I can't figure that out. But the point is that there are areas of stress that come with that kind of exposure, and women are especially susceptible. Now that Stanford study that I'm telling you about, identified four areas of stress that are associated with these video conferencing platforms. I'm going to give you the abridged version. And you can find the link to the complete article in the Show Notes. If you want to explore the topic some more. The first area of stress is the intense close-up eye contact. And that happens because everyone is looking at each other all the time. A second stress factor is the lack of the usual mobility. You know how we can get up and walk around when we are in an office? Well, when you're in a Zoom conference, you may be asked to stay visible on the screen. A third stress factor is the mental strain of having to look like you're always engaged, having to nod your head and give a thumbs-up because we're not in face-to-face communication where nonverbal cues can do the same thing. But let's get back to Zoom fatigue for women especially Well, according to the research. seeing yourself during video chats in real time is fatiguing, and it is especially stressful for women because women pay more attention to looking at themselves during the live video. Ladies, you know this is true. But what you don't realize, is that while you're focusing on yourself, you're also sending yourself feedback. And that can make you even more critical of yourself. And if you don't like the image you see, well, that's a whole other level of stress. And let's be honest, who needs to be emotionally taxed in this way? And then wait a minute, when you add to that the reality that people are judging you based on what you allow them to see in your environment. Oh, boy, more stress. So ladies, can we talk? I mean, really, can we talk? Are you giving yourself more stress by how you're choosing to show up for these video conferences? I mean, you can certainly use the "hide self" option. But what if your boss says, I miss seeing your beautiful face? What then? Ladies, don't get sucked into the Zoom fog, where you can use that hide self option, because you haven't prepared yourself for work. You may not like hearing this, but it is unprofessional. And secondly, it can be a real source of stress. So here's what PK's wisdom suggests. Give yourself a psychological boost by taking the time to prepare yourself for how you want to be seen. And then you won't have to worry about what others are seeing. And you'll love the reflection of yourself. And then again, this might even be an opportunity to engage in retail therapy. You know how you Gen Xers love a sale, I'm not mad at you, because so do I. So take advantage of the pandemic sales, or simply reorganize that closet of yours, bring some of the items that you got tired of wearing to the office, bring them out of retirement and pair them with some new combinations. The thing is, you have to plan this out. It can't be something that you do on the run right before you have to turn your computers on. So you might want to make that plan on the weekend for the week ahead; just like when you were going into the office, because I'm assuming that that's how you lived. Anyway, whatever you do, start with an appearance that is pleasing to you first. And then in this way, you won't end up with that unwanted and unnecessary stress of evaluating yourself poorly when you see your image on Zoom. Remember that chronic stress weakens your immune system, and it inflames the body, making you more susceptible to colds, weight gain, and a host of other unwanted health issues. Well, I think I said a mouthful for today. So if you love this episode, why not leave a review in the comments. It will only take you two minutes, and it will provide me with valuable insight that will help me to build a better plane. Until next time, this is PK sending you much light and a whole lotta love.